By JLP | July 22, 2010
I just read a short article from Financial Advisor magazine about how the SEC voted unanomously to dump the 12b-1 fee. But, further into the article I read this (bold print mine):
the SEC proposes new rules to limit fund sales charges, improve transparency of fees for investors, encourage retail price competition, and revise fund director oversight duties.
Regarding fund sales charges, the SEC proposal would restrict ongoing sales charges and would allow funds to keep paying 0.25% per year from their assets for distribution as marketing and service fees to cover expenses such as advertising, sales compensation and services.
As I read it, they are just getting rid of the term “12b-1 fee.” I’m wondering what this means for all those funds that are STILL CHARGING 12b-1 fees on mutual funds that are closed (hence no new marketing needed). There’s a chapter in the book I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Mutual Funds: Portfolio Structures, Analysis, Management, and Stewardship (Robert W. Kolb Series)*, that discusses this very topic. In a table on pages 60 and 61, there is a listing of 102 funds that charge 12b-1 fees on mutual funds that are closed to new investors. The reason mutual fund companies still charge these fees is because they bring in a lot of money. The table shows nearly $295 million in these fees.
I’m also curious about the rules to limit fund charges. How is that going to work and what is it going to look like?